Home » Archive by categoryFamous Clowns (Page 2)

Billy Baker

From the foothills of the Arkansas Ozarks, Billy Baker ran away from a college scholarship to join the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Clown College class of 1970. He hit the road with the Ringling Red Show, where he rose to be a featured member of Clown Alley...
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Umberto “Antonet” Guillaume (1872-1935)

Umberto "Antonet" Guillaume
Born in Brescia, Italy, Antonet was the son of a famous family of Italian clowns. He followed in Footit’s tradition as an “authoritarian” whiteface clown. George Speaight credits Antonet with introducing the loose spangled dress, with calf-length trousers that became associated with the European whiteface clown. Antonet first...
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Jimmy “Happy” Williams (1942 – 2015)

Jimmy Williams - circus photo
Jimmy “Happy” Williams was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1961, he landed his first job in clowning when he was hired to perform at Mayfair Mall in Milwaukee. He took his name “Happy” from his respect for tramp clown Happy Kellums. Chappie Fox went to Milwaukee to take...
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Bill “Boom-Boom” Baily (1917 – 1990)

Bill "Boom-Boom" Baily
Bill began clowning while still in high school. For over seven years he appeared in his tramp character on the Sealtest Big Top and Mark’s Magic Midwest television shows, broadcast by local stations in New Jersey. He appeared on live television programs on CBS, NBC, and ABC including...
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Earl Chaney – Mr. Clown

Earl Chaney - Mr. Clown
Earl Chaney (March 6, 1945 – ) Earl Chaney – Mr. Clown – has been making children of all ages laugh for over twenty years. He perfected his clowning talent in Clown College.  Earl Chaney went on to become one of the best-loved clown characters with the Ringling...
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Giovanni Zoppé – “Nino”

Nino Zoppé with child
Sixth-generation circus performer Giovanni Zoppé has nothing against the modern lions-and-tigers-and-bears spectacle of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, or the Vegas-style slickness of Cirque du Soleil. He just doesn’t think high-concept shows like those capture the essence of the circus. “If somebody came to see our...
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Frank “Slivers” Oakley

Frank "Slivers" Oakley in his baseball skit
Frank Oakley, aka. Slivers, 1871-1916 Frank Oakley, also known as Slivers (1871–1916) was the most popular circus clown of his generation. Born in Sweden, both of Oakley’s parents were concert singers. At the age of 14 he began to practice as a contortionist and at 16 he joined...
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Curly Robbins

Curly Robbins
W.D. Robbins – Curly Robbins – 1928 – 2002 Curly Robbins began his clown career in 1959. He volunteered to be a clown at a underprivileged children’s Christmas party and found he had a passion for it. In 1962, a booking agent for Clyde Beatty – Cole Bros...
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Bill Irwin

Bill Irwin - International Clown Hall of Fame 1999 Inductee
Bill Irwin graduated from the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Clown College in 1974, and the next year he became an original cast member of San Francisco’s Pickle Family Circus. He continued his work with the Pickle Family Circus until 1979 when he left to pursue his own...
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Barry Lubin – Grandma

Barry Lubin as Grandma
Biography of Barry Lubin – “Grandma” (July 3, 1952 – ) A member of the 1974 class of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, he performed for 5 years with the Greatest Show on Earth. He also performed at the prestigious International Circus Festival of Monte...
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